Thursday, December 5, 2013

Texas Wineries: Fairhaven Vineyards

Fairhaven Vineyards is part of the Piney Woods Trail in north-east Texas.  The vineyard and tasting room are not far off I-20, near Tyler, which is an easy drive from Dallas.  Fairhaven grows its own grapes and uses a combination of traditional, yeast fermentation and carbonic maceration.  (Carbonic maceration is a whole-berry fermentation method that yields sweet aromas and fresh flavors.)

When I visited Fairhaven's tasting room a couple of years ago, I liked many of the wines, but my favorite was the Chambourcin, which is a French grape.  The 2010 Chambourcin has tart red and black fruit aromas/flavors, heavy on the cherry, a little blueberry, lots of spice, vanilla, and a hint of smoke at the end.  The acid level is on the upper end of moderate, with moderate tannin, body, and alcohol (13.5%).  I was impressed with the combination of flavors - fresh and bright balanced against dark and rich.  It's a good deal at $15.

I appreciate that the tasting room offers a meat and cheese plate.  I find that when I'm tasting on a wine trail, driving between wineries and maybe visiting several in a day, the oyster crackers just don't cut it!

Fairhaven will ship its wines to the Houston area, but unfortunately none of our local retailers carry it.  I definitely recommend visiting if you are in the area.

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